Blog of Rights

The Biggest Threat to Free Speech and Intellectual Property That You’ve Never Heard Of

The Biggest Threat to Free Speech and Intellectual Property That You’ve Never Heard Of

By Sandra Fulton, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:22pm
As we have seen in the failed attempts of SOPA/PIPA, and the floundering Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, intellectual property (“IP”) laws are often poorly constructed, hastily proposed and ultimately both ineffective and potentially abusive.

The Freedom to Game

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:17pm

In 1954, German-American psychiatrist Fredric Wertham published the now infamous Seduction of the Innocent, a book chronicling the supposed harm caused to America's youth by comic books. Wertham's book prompted a wave of hand-wringing around the…

The ACLU Supports Campaign Finance Reform and Free Speech

The ACLU Supports Campaign Finance Reform and Free Speech

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:58am

This post originally appeared on the Huffington Post.

For an organization that works on issues as diverse as drones, women's rights, racial justice, war powers, immigration and flag burning, internal debates are inevitable and healthy. We welcome…

What Rights?

What Rights?

By Melinda Chateauvert, Author of Sex Workers Unite! A History of the Movement from Stonewall to SlutWalk at 4:22pm

Melinda Chateauvert will read excerpts from Sex Workers Unite! and sign copies of the book on Wednesday, March 12. For more information and to RSVP, visit http://sexworkersunite.eventbrite.com.

Do sex workers have rights? Put another way, can…

Rapid Improvements in Lidar Technology Could Have Surveillance Implications

Rapid Improvements in Lidar Technology Could Have Surveillance Implications

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 10:25am

Technology Review has an article out on advances in lidar technology. The article is a reminder of just how many fronts there are where we’re seeing large technological advances with possible implications for surveillance.

Lidar is like radar…

In Disturbing Trend, Kansas School the Latest to Punish Student for Harmless Tweet

In Disturbing Trend, Kansas School the Latest to Punish Student for Harmless Tweet

By Greger Calhan, Legal Fellow, ACLU, Racial Justice Program & Brian Hauss, Legal Fellow, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 2:46pm

Update: An earlier version of this post did not cite Heights High School's letter to Wesley and his parents, which was originally published on KWCH.com.

In Kansas, joking about sports can be hazardous to your high school graduation. Wesley…

The Privacy-Invading Potential of Eye Tracking Technology

The Privacy-Invading Potential of Eye Tracking Technology

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 9:42am

Eye tracking technology received new attention recently due to its inclusion in the Samsung Galaxy IV phone, where it can (with mixed results, according to reviewers) let users scroll the screen with their eyes or dim the screen when they look away.…

New Government “Propaganda” Bill a Positive Step for First Amendment

New Government “Propaganda” Bill a Positive Step for First Amendment

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:58am
Throughout the country, many of us have rightly been long concerned about the danger of the government using taxpayer funds to covertly influence public opinion.  This issue came up again recently as part of this year’s defense authorization bill, which passed the House of Representatives on Friday.  Reps.
Free Speech at the Airport: The Government Can't Selectively Silence Viewpoints

Free Speech at the Airport: The Government Can't Selectively Silence Viewpoints

By Sarah Roberts, Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 11:30am

On Wednesday, the ACLU and NAACP filed a lawsuit against Philadelphia for violating the First Amendment when it refused to accept an NAACP ad in the city's airport.

We Must Combat Child Pornography Without Abandoning Online Privacy

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:56pm

Sexual abuse of children is deeply evil, not to mention criminal. It harms children to an almost unfathomable degree. Child pornography commercially exploits that harm, exacerbating the initial crime. Unfortunately, terrible crimes can sometimes…